Energy bill momentum continues. Measures that would create billon dollar bonds for efficiency and green job training and a statutory low carbon fuel standard are moving. The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee and Natural Resources Committee approved bills early this week. SB 1240 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) creates a low carbon fuel standard that requires qualifying alternative fuels to pass a life-cycle emissions and sustainability test. Like the January 2007 governor\u2019s executive order, it requires the California Air Resources Board to implement by 2010 a standard requiring that non-traditional transportation fuels emit at least 10 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Complexity and controversy stall the Air Board\u2019s development of a low carbon fuel rule pursuant to the executive order. Much of it involves the emissions test applied to the life-cycle impacts of the underlying feedstock for alternative fuel--be it corn, cellulose, or sugar cane. The bill won on a 6-3 vote in the Natural Resources Committee, in spite of stiff opposition from the oil industry and other businesses. They claimed SB 1240\u2019s more stringent cradle-to-grave emissions test would increase the Air Board\u2019s work load and create uncertainties. The bill is a reincarnation of a measure Kehoe authored last year, which was vetoed by the governor. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stated in his veto message that the bill failed to address market mechanisms. SB 1240 explicitly states that market-based measures are authorized in accordance with the state\u2019s climate protection law, AB 32. Prior to the governor\u2019s signing of the historic global warming reduction law, he and the Legislature locked horns over how large a role the market would play and who had authority over the issue--lawmakers or the governor\u2019s office. Also approved by the Natural Resources committee was SB 1670. It asks voters this November to approve a $2 billion general obligation bond for energy efficiency retrofits in state buildings and colleges. \u201cUnlike other bonds, this one is unique because it would pay for itself,\u201d said Kehoe, who authored the bill. The bond aims at lowering the state\u2019s utility bill by curbing avoidable energy use and associated carbon emissions. It passed on a 7-1 vote. Another bill seeks to create a $2.25 billion bond and revolving fund measure for the 2010 ballot to finance green technology training and jobs in schools and the commercial sector. SB 1672 by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) passed 6-0. It seeks to curb the state\u2019s high school dropout rate and create a skilled clean energy workforce. \u201cThis is economic development,\u201d he told the Natural Resources Committee. Senate pro Tem Don Perata\u2019s (D-Oakland) legislation to create standards for truth in advertising for greenhouse gas trading also won approval. Business interests and some environmental groups opposed SB 1762 because of concerns it could hamper carbon emissions offsets and green tag trading. Currently there are no guidelines, regulations, or oversight to ensure greenhouse gas credit trading claims are valid. SB 1762, passed 6-1, attempts to remedy that void. The lion\u2019s share of carbon credits to offset pollution under the United Nations program, for example, are delivering almost one-third less than what was promised, according to a June 26 report by the ratings firm IDEAcarbon. Perata\u2019s SB 1760, which creates a team to coordinate and develop the state\u2019s global warming policy, also passed. Earlier, it was overhauled because it was aimed at allowing California to benefit from enacted federal climate change legislation that was filibustered. The revamped SB 1760 establishes a Climate Action Team to coordinate and develop a plan to protect and adapt to climate change impacts by 2010. It also aims to promote green jobs and specifies that state agency missions must include climate change responses. It passed the resources committee on a 6-2 vote. Other bills approved include: SB 1012, which allows combined heat and power systems (cogeneration) to qualify for the California Public Utilities Commission\u2019s self-generation subsidy program. The bill by Kehoe aims to allow expanded use of efficient combined heat and power units to meet peak demand and curb emissions. The Utility Reform Network objects to the bill because small ratepayers subsidize systems that only benefit large energy users. SB 1473 by Senator Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello), which requires local agencies to impose fees on building permit applicants to fund green building guidelines and training and education materials developed by the Building Standards Commission. SB 1714 Senator Gloria Negrete McCleod (D-Chino), which seeks to increase the size of renewable systems eligible for feed-in tariffs from 1.5 MW to 4 MW partly to promote large-scale solar projects in her sunny district. It codifies the renewable feed-in tariff approved by the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year, but requires all private and public utilities in the state to adopt similar feed-in tariffs. It also allows the tariff to exceed the renewable benchmark price set the CPUC. The Utilities committee passed the bill June 26.